If Republicans eke out a win in the House of Representatives—which now seems likely—GOP leaders have promised to investigate numerous government scandals, including the irredeemably corrupt Federal Bureau of Investigation. One path of inquiry is how the bureau manufactures data to promote the phony narrative that “domestic violent extremists,” i.e., supporters of Donald Trump, pose a security threat to the country.
Whistleblowers recently disclosed how the FBI is “misrepresenting the scale of domestic violent extremism nationwide by categorizing January 6th-related investigations as organic cases stemming from local field offices, instead of all related to one single incident,” according to a report by GOP members of the House Judiciary Committee.
Shortly after the Capitol protest, FBI Director Christopher Wray designated the four-hour disturbance as an act of “domestic terror”; federal prosecutors routinely compare January 6 defendants to terrorists, enabling the government to seek—and receive—extended jail time for misdemeanors convictions and justify indefinite pretrial detention for nonviolent offenders.
During his Senate testimony in March 2021, Wray described members of the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, two groups involved in the events of January 6, as “militia violent extremists.” When Senator Lindsey Graham (RINO-S.C.) asked Wray whether he considered either group a domestic terror organization, the director refused to answer directly, instead insisting “individuals” associated with both groups are “domestic terrorists.”
Those comments alone should be fireable offenses. Set aside Wray’s excuse-making for leftist rioters—in 2020, Wray laughably refused to apply the same label to Antifa, calling it a “movement or an ideology,” not a terror organization—no evidence exists to support Wray’s accusations that the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys mimic terror cells comparable to al Qaeda. Of the nearly two dozen members of both groups now facing charges tied to January 6, only one is accused of using a weapon (a riot shield) and it is alleged he used it to break a window, not harm a person, that afternoon.
Members of the Oath Keepers who drove to Washington to attend the president’s speech left their legally transported weapons at a Virginia hotel rather than violate the city’s strict gun control laws. Worst “militia” ever.
And no one in either group carried a firearm into the building or on Capitol grounds.
But Wray, conveniently, left off another vital detail about these “militias”: the number of FBI confidential human sources embedded within them both before and during the Capitol protest.
Prior to the September start of the seditious conspiracy trial against members of the Oath Keepers, prosecutors finally disclosed that at least five FBI informants were embedded in the groups weeks and months before January 6. Matthew Graves, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia handling over 900 January 6 cases, sought to prevent the jury from hearing about the informants’ “activities or involvement in past investigations.”
None testified as a witness for the government. But the defense wanted to call to the stand the vice president of the Oath Keepers, a man who worked directly with Stewart Rhodes, the founder and head of the group. Greg McWhirter is a former sheriff’s deputy and current owner of a tactical shooting range and gun shop in Montana.
McWhirter also is an FBI informant.
According to a bombshell piece in the New York Times, McWhirter was “secretly reporting to the F.B.I. about the group’s activities in the weeks and months leading up to the Capitol attack.” Reporter Alan Feuer further revealed that McWhirter had suffered a medical emergency boarding a plane to Washington to testify and required hospitalization. (Prosecutors asked the presiding judge to find out who leaked the information about McWhirter’s role, under court-ordered protective seal, to Feuer. Defense dropped him as a witness.)
Not only did McWhirter work for the FBI, he lured Oath Keepers to his remote business by offering discounts to buy guns and ammunition before the 2020 election—presumably, at the behest of the FBI to produce evidence of a self-styled “militia” even though no crime was committed.
All of it reeks of the FBI-engineered plot to “kidnap” Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, an entrapment scheme underway at the very same time the FBI utilized informants in the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers before January 6. In the Whitmer fednapping hoax, Dan Chappel, the lead informant, acted as the “commanding officer” of an imaginary militia—revealed during trial as a fabrication of the FBI—to lure the FBI’s targets into the trap.
Further, another Oath Keeper turned informant called the FBI tip line in November 2020 over fears the group planned to go “to war with the United States government” but investigators didn’t contact him until March 2021.
But unlike the Whitmer fednapping plot where the FBI arrested their targets before any attempted “kidnapping” could occur, the FBI did not use any foreknowledge about possible violence on January 6 to prevent what happened that day despite connections to several informants. The question is—why not?
The FBI also ran informants in the Proud Boys before January 6. Last year, Feuer revealed that the FBI embedded one informant in the group in July 2020; the informant was involved in the first breach of the restricted area. “As scores of Proud Boys made their way, chanting and shouting, toward the Capitol on Jan. 6, one member of the far-right group was busy texting a real-time account of the march,” Feuer reported in September 2021. “The recipient was his F.B.I. handler.” Another FBI informant was associated with a separate chapter of the Proud Boys that also participated in the events of January 6.
Now it appears that the FBI had multiple assets dispersed among the Proud Boys. A last-minute discovery dump last week by prosecutors includes at least 500 pages of possibly exculpatory evidence related to the FBI’s confidential human source operation within the Proud Boys. (Jury selection for the first trial is scheduled to start December 12.)
The Times reported late Monday night that at least eight FBI informants were placed in the Proud Boys.
According to one defense motion, the Justice Department held this material for more than a year only to release heavily redacted versions of the pages one month before trial; one defense lawyer noted that even page numbers had been redacted.
Defense attorneys have now asked U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly to take action. Counsel for Zachary Rehl, a Proud Boy from Pennsylvania, asked Kelly to “dismiss the indictment in this case and impose such other sanctions as are just and proper on the grounds that the government has violated Mr. Rehl’s rights to a fair trial and to the due process of law by failing to produce until this past week information ‘favorable to’ Mr. Rehl that is ‘material either to guilt or to punishment’ under Brady v. Maryland.”
Even more outrageous is that Rehl and three of his co-defendants have been behind bars under pre-trial detention orders since early 2021; Kelly, a Trump appointee, has consented to their indefinite incarceration as the Justice Department plays last-minute games to either force plea agreements or delay trial once again.
Gamesmanship aside, it’s now evident the FBI infiltrated these two “militia” groups well in advance of January 6. So, only one of two explanations is possible: either the FBI hired lousy informants, all of whom failed to tell their handling agents that the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys planned to overthrow the government that day or, more likely, the FBI replicated the Whitmer fednapping—informants worked with supervising agents and FBI hierarchy to concoct another “domestic terror” attack to bolster Wray’s unsubstantiated warnings about domestic violent extremists for political reasons. In other words, they wanted to sabotage Donald Trump.
In either case, where is the outrage among January 6 propagandists that the FBI, contrary to Wray’s public assertions, had plenty of resources devoted to collecting intelligence about the Capitol protest? Why did Wray’s surveillance operation fail so spectacularly? Who are the handling agents responsible for such widespread failure? Why haven’t heads rolled? Where is Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) calling for Wray’s resignation?
That these questions remain unanswered—and, more importantly, unasked—is a telling sign.